A Guide to Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR): Steps and Certification
Read on to learn how to perform CPR and get a CPR certificate.
There are a few quick things to do before performing CPR. These things can improve the outcome of CPR and a person’s chances of survival. They include:
- checking if the environment is safe for the person
- checking for responsiveness, breathing, and bleeding
- calling 911 if the person is unconscious, not breathing, or bleeding profusely
After you have done these things, you can begin CPR.
The steps of CPR differ slightly depending on whether a person is an adult, a child, or an infant. The key difference is the amount of pressure to apply when performing chest compressions.
Follow these steps to perform CPR:
- Place the person on a firm, flat surface.
- If the person is an adult, rest your palm in the middle of their chest. If the person is a child, use just one hand here. Use two fingers for an infant.
- If the person is an adult, put your second hand over the first one and bring your shoulders directly over your hands.
- Compress to a depth of about 2 inches (5 centimeters) and allow the chest to recoil. Push to a depth of 1.5 inches (3.8 centimeters) in the case of an infant.
- Make 30 similar compressions at a rate of 100–120 per minute.
You can also give the person rescue breaths if you have formal CPR training. Keep in mind that the standard procedure is Compressions, Airway, Breathing (CAB).
Follow these steps to give the breaths:
- Place your palm on the person’s forehead and tilt your head back.
- Gently lift their chin forward with your other hand to open the airway.
- Close the person’s nostrils and cover their mouth with yours to make a seal.
- Give the first breath.
- Check to see if the chest rises when you give the breath.
- If the chest does not rise, tilt the head again and ensure a proper seal before giving the second breath.
- Perform chest compressions again. Alternate 30 compressions with two rescue breaths.
- If an automated external defibrillator (AED) is available, give one shock.
- Perform chest compressions for two more minutes and give another AED shock.
The use of an AED during CPR can increase the chances of a good outcome. The AHA provides a guide to implementing an AED program in a work environment.
CPR stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation. It is a lifesaving technique you perform on a person whose breathing or heartbeat has stopped.
When a person’s heart stops, the supply of blood and oxygen to their brain and other vital organs also stops. This condition is known as cardiac arrest, and it can cause brain damage and death if it lasts longer than a few minutes.
CPR aims to kickstart the heart and restore oxygen to the body. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 9 out of 10 people who experience cardiac arrest outside of a hospital die. CPR can help improve a person’s chances of survival.
There are two types of CPR:
- Hands-only CPR: This technique involves administering rapid compresses to the chest. The aim is to recreate the heart’s pumping motion. This method can help keep oxygenated blood flowing to the brain if done correctly.
- CPR with breaths: This technique combines chest compressions with mouth-to-mouth rescue breaths. It can provide the body with oxygen and prevent serious tissue damage.
The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends performing hands-only CPR if you have not had CPR training. This method is simpler than mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and can be equally effective.
Call 911 and perform CPR immediately if a person is not breathing, is unresponsive, or has no pulse, especially after:
- learning CPR chest compressions
- learning how to give mouth-to-mouth breaths
- learning to use an AED
Taking a CPR course is highly recommended and can save lives.
These are a few other questions people have asked about CPR.
When was CPR invented?
According to the AHA, a group of researchers comprising Drs. Kouwenhoven, Safar, and Jude invented CPR in 1960. However, doctors were performing methods roughly similar to CPR as far back as the 1500s.
How long does CPR certification last?
CPR certification typically expires after 2 years. However, you can renew it by taking a blended learning course.
CPR is an emergency lifesaving procedure. It helps maintains the flow of blood and oxygen through the body when a person’s heart stops or they are not breathing.
Situations that may call for CPR include suffocation and cardiac arrest. Others include a near-drowning incident, electrocution, and poisoning.
There are two types of CPR: hands-only CPR and CPR with breaths. Hands-only CPR involves performing chest compressions, while CPR with breaths involves giving compressions as well as rescue breaths.